Investigation reveals cause of Frederick County Fair incident

Published: Jul. 26, 2016 at 2:22 PM EDT
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UPDATE (8/3/2016):

A.R.M., the manufacturer of the 'Super Shot' ride on which a woman was riding when she fell 40 feet last week, has reported that the ride itself was not at fault for the incident, but the company which brought the ride to the fair and assembled it.

"Based on information from post accident inspectors who have viewed the subject ride," Mike Gill of A.R.M. stated, "the sole cause of the accident was a failure to properly assemble the ride before use."

They added that "the transportable Super Shot, like all portable amusement park rides, must be properly assembled and inspected before operation. The company wants to assure its other Super Shot owners that by following the manufacturer's assembly, inspection, and maintenance procedures, their ride is safe for operation."

The company which owned the Super Shot at the Frederick County Fair was Inners Amusements. According to Ken Martin, Amusement Ride Analyst & Safety Consultant, that company has had one previous incident in Virginia, at the Powhatan County Fair, that required hospitalization a few years back.

Martin also told WHSV's Bob Grebe that after the Super Shot was assembled, it had to be inspected by a trained amusement ride inspector. In this case, it was the Frederick County Building Inspector.

"The incident was investigated by the County Building Official, Inner’s insurance company Haas Wilkerson and a third party engineer," added Martin. "Virginia law requires the ride owner to investigate their own incident... Fire and rescue officials have no jurisdiction over amusement rides/devices."

Virginia's Amusement Device Regulations can be found in the 'Related Documents' section of this web article if you would like to review the law Ken Martin referenced.


ORIGINAL STORY (7/26/2016):

On Monday evening shortly after 7:00 p.m., the Frederick County Fire and Rescue team, along with the Sheriff’s Office, responded to the Frederick County Fairgrounds after a woman fell 40 feet from a ride.

A 47-year-old female was injured while riding a ride called the Super Shot located at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. While the ride was descending downwards, the single seat she was secured in came detached from the main frame of the ride and struck the ground.

The Super Shot is a free fall ride, in which riders ascend to the top of a tower and then are dropped. The ride was descending, according to the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, when the woman fell approximately 40 feet.

The female rider sustained multiple injuries and was transported to the Winchester Medical Center for treatment. Her condition is unknown at this time.

The cause of the accident is undetermined at this time and is still under investigation. The lead investigating agency is the Frederick County Building Inspections Department.

According to WUSA 9, everything remains open at the Frederick County Fairgrounds today, except for the "Super Shot."

Video below shows the scene from the Frederick County Fairgrounds.